Scripture speaks a LOT about the return of Christ. Consider these statistics:
- 150 chapters in the Bible have the end times as their main subject.
- Jesus’ return is referenced in the New Testament more than 300 times.
- All nine authors of the New Testament mention Christ’s Second Coming.
- 23 of the 27 books of the New Testament reference Christ’s return.
- Salvation is the only doctrine given more space in the NT than that of Christ’s Second Coming.
- In the Gospels, Jesus mentions his return more frequently than he speaks of his death.
- The Second Coming of Christ is referenced eight times more often in the Bible than his first coming.
There are a number of purposes for Christ’s return to earth, many things that he will do when he arrives. Here are nine of them that I shared in a recent message.
When Jesus Christ returns, he will…
Receive his people to himself.
Matthew 24:30–31 . . . they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
John 14:2–3 I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Isn’t that amazing! Jesus has promised to return. And when he does, he will take us to be with him. Jesus himself will come from heaven; he’ll call dead saints to come forth from the grave, and they will—just like he called Lazarus forth from his grave. And those who are alive when Jesus comes will rise up to meet him in the air. What a day that will be! Aren’t you looking forward to that day?
Second, when Jesus Christ returns, he will…
Transform us into his likeness.
Philippians 3:20–21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
1 Corinthians 15:52–53 . . . in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
At his return, whether we are alive or dead, our bodies will be transformed to be like his glorious body. No more pain, sickness, cancer, disease, disability. Aren’t you looking forward to that day?
Third, when Jesus Christ returns, he will…
Reward his servants.
1 Corinthians 3:11–14 No one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
The Bible speaks of rewards for believers. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be rewarded for our service, our faithfulness, our works—or we will suffer loss of reward. That’s why it’s so important that we live in light of his return. What we do here on earth matters for eternity.
Fourth, when Jesus returns, he will…
Be united in marriage with his bride, the Church.
Revelation 19:7–9 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ “ And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Christ will marry his betrothed bride, the church. Though we are united with Christ now, when we have glorified bodies and are in his presence, we will experience a union with him that we cannot even imagine.
Now, we love to talk about God’s love and extol his mercy and grace and lovingkindness. And so we should. But, if we are worshiping the true God as he really is—and we must be worshiping him as he is, not as we want him to be—then we will also acknowledge and extol the goodness of his holiness and justice, which demands that he punish sin. And that is a primary reason for Jesus’ Second Coming during the day of the Lord.
So, fifth, when Jesus returns, he will…
Pour out God’s wrath on the wicked.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–9 . . . when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
Romans 2:5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
People like hearing about the gentle Jesus, the Jesus riding on a colt, the Jesus gathering children in his arms. But that same Jesus one day will come from heaven with a sharp sword and with fiery angels, and he will inflict vengeance on those who have rejected him and have not obeyed his gospel. God’s wrath against sin and disobedience is being withheld during these days of grace, but as Peter said, “The day of the Lord will come.” It’s for certain.
Sixth, when Jesus returns, he will…
Judge the living and the dead.
John 5:25–27 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
2 Timothy 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead . . .
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
God has given all judgment to the Son. And Jesus is the one will call all people from their graves, and they will stand before him. And he will pass judgment—some will inherit to eternal life, and others will be consigned to eternal punishment in the lake of fire. These are heavy realities that we don’t often talk about, but Scripture is clear. Your eternal destiny is decided by how you are related to Christ.
Seventh, when Jesus returns, he will…
Destroy all evil and opposition to God’s kingdom
2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
1 Corinthians 15:24–26 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Revelation 20:10 . . . and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
At the time of Christ’s return, leaders and nations and kings will be arrayed against him. And he will come in his glory, destroying all rule and power opposed to him, putting down all opposition and rebellion. And even Satan himself will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Eighth, when Jesus returns, he will…
Reign as king.
Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Revelation 19:11, 15–16 Revelation 19:11, 15–16. Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords..
Jesus will sit upon the throne of David, and his kingdom will fill the earth. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Now his kingdom is hidden; it’s small; it’s within the hearts of his followers. But a day is coming when his kingdom will be established on the earth.
And finally, when Jesus returns, he will…
Restore and renew all things.
Acts 3:21 Jesus . . . whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Romans 8:21 . . . the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Revelation 21:3–5 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Jesus will totally reverse the curse. He will restore creation back to its original “very good” state. He will make all things new. And we will live with him for ever and ever and ever, worshiping him, serving him, and enjoying him in a new heaven and new earth. Are you looking forward to that day? Is it your eager anticipation? Are you ready for his return?